Jerome Bettis was not your average running back. Combining his size with surprising speed and athleticism, Bettis tormented opposing defenses while in his prime. One of those defenders he tormented is now speaking up and vouching for Bettis' potential enshrinement into the Hall of Fame.
Bettis is one of 15 finalists for the 2015 Hall of Fame class, but he has been on this docket before and failed to become a member of the Hall of Fame. Hence why current Hall of Fame member Derrick Brooks decided to speak up in regards to Bettis and his resume to become a member of the greatest team ever assembled.
Should he be in the Hall of Fame? Brook's answer says it all.
"I definitely think so. As far as that position, he fits the bill. His application has been approved for lack of a better word. His application is approved. In my opinion I do believe he deserves to be in there this year."
Brooks realized how special Bettis was while playing the running back position at his size and being able to be effective for all four quarters as the primary back in the backfield.
"It was unusual to see that. That was the unique characteristic about him that made him one of the best at what he did. In the years I played him that was always a major concern, someone as big as he is, as light as his feet as he is and to still have the speed of the smaller backs."
Bettis certainly had his share of collisions with inside linebackers during his 13 year career in the NFL, and he and Brooks locked horns on more than one occasion.
"You know, I must admit, yes there were a few collisions and let's just say I wasn't on the end I wanted to be," Brooks told Steelers.com. "I didn't lose many battles one on one in my career. But in my competition, my battles with Jerome, I didn't win as many as I wanted to."
Strong words from a strong competitor who has already been given his gold jacket. Will Bettis' time be in 2015, or will he be forced to wait another year as he sees more running backs join the list of players enshrined before him? Only time will tell, but Brooks believes Bettis' time is now.